A dialogue with Iranian asylum seekers and refugee artists on their making a film in Melbourne.

Mamamd Aidani has been working with Iranian asylum seekers and refugee artists who have recently arrived in Melbourne. They are working to make a film from Aidani’s text ‘A Few Steps Not Here Not There’, written in 1988 soon after he arrived in Australia.

The text is bound by an exilic narrative of displacement, and has been used by these artists as a prism through which they find locations of affinity and belonging, as well as aspects of being strangers experiencing invisibility and that of interlopers in a foreign country. These artists have been employing the text as the site for negotiating how to create a dialogical process through which the refugee – and the displacement of being neither here nor there – may navigate bodily landscapes and temporal familiarity.

In this presentation, Aidani will provide an overview of the dialogue between the artists and himself, and the developmental process behind the project. They will show a short screening of the film and engage in an open discussion between Aidani and the filmmakers. They will highlight the implications this creative dialogue has for them, within their recent emigrational experience and multi-layered ‘journey’, and explore how the text and the process of making the film have affected their relationships with the city.